About Creative Quarter

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Half the world thinks of creativity as some mysterious quality that only the other half has. Research suggests, however, that everyone is capable of tapping into his or her creative spirit. In social services, for example, people need to be creative to change their lives, and to support these changes, practitioners need to think differently – to be open to new ideas and to take risks.

Creative Quarter is part of an IRISS project to understand and learn from disciplines that specifically recognise creativity as a central feature of their identity, so that we can inspire and stimulate creativity in the sector to promote better outcomes for people who use services.The project combines consideration of how people think about creativity, what stimulates it in social services and what this means in practice for people using services and practitioners. We will primarily investigate this through the lens of the creative arts and their contribution to social services.


It explores this issue on a number of different levels:

  • By exploring the potential role and effectiveness of the creative arts in supporting creativity in the workforce to deliver positive outcomes for individuals (reviewing and showcasing the evidence base)
  • By supporting practitioners and individuals to develop creative new enterprises in partnership with business (and documenting the learning from this). This element is focused on supporting the workforce and people who use services to have ideas and to implement these
  • By generating and testing tools to support creative thinking and creative practice.


Primary outcomes

  • The creative arts as a therapeutic intervention is understood in the context of social services
  • The social services workforce can access evidence andn ideas about the use of the creative arts in social services
  • Practitioners and people who access support have opportunities to co-develop ideas for support
  • There is greater understanding of the process of developing and implementing micro-enterprises
  • There is increased understanding of perceptions of creativity in the workforce
  • Practitioners and people who use services are able to create inovative support plans

Secondary outcomes

  • IRISS's strategy of supporting social innovation is tested in practice

For more information on this project, please contact Lisa Pattoni, Programme Manager (Innovation and Improvement) at IRISS.